Over the fence and through the field to Grandpa and Grandma’s house we’d go. Grandpa and Grandma Seymour’s house sat snuggled behind a fence and through a gate that was covered by a pink and red Rose Trellis which opened into Grandma and Grandpa’s spacious and beautifully-crafted yard. There behind this beautiful entry-way sat a weather-worn huge house with a backyard that sloped down a hill. The back of the house was supported by stilts.
The journey up to the kitchen from the back yard took you up 15 to 20 steps. It was a long journey to little children. Looking off Grandpa’s porch (looked like you were standing on top of a mountain) was scary; like the house he lived in. It was the most enormous house that the Seymour children had ever seen (not that they had seen that many, since it was so rural). Enormous and intimidating, it could have been labeled a stationary Ark, you know like the one in the Bible that Noah built. Grandpa’s house had many rooms. The rooms were so large that a little child could get lost in them; it seemed. Grandpa was a tall, wiry man, whose heritage was Cherokee/Creek/Irish.
Grandpa was an expert with many things, but the two things he was really, really good at was: a butter knife to eat with, and a colt 45, his partner, to shoot with. Grandpa could eat peas and rice off a flat butter knife without spilling a drop. Sage said, “His eating could easily be described as an art.” He could also, shot without missing; he had a true warrior spirit. Grandpa was a quiet man with a very determined spirit, but Grandma Chastity was just the opposite, vocal and prissy, if you can picture that.
The Seymour children had a different adventure each time they visited their grandparents.
But, Sage said that, “They had what they called, “The Big Lima Bean Adventure” since this was what they were fed every time they visited.”
The Seymour children learned either to love or hate Lima Beans, Cornbread, and Rice (white) yuck, yuck!Listening to Grandpa was like a Wild West Adventure. He was born in the 1800’s when the West was still young. A native of Washington County, Alabama gave Grandpa a chance to be right in the middle of the action.—shoot and ask questions later or just simply hang’ um high on a tree. Grandpa carried his Wild West, Jessie James mentality, right over into the 1900’s.
Grandpa sat in a straight backed chair all the years the Seymour children were growing up. He never sat on all four legs, he mastered sitting on two legs in that straight chair, without ever falling backwards, at least, he never admitted falling backwards, or any other way. The front room or the living room was his favorite room in the house, which had a big old fashioned fireplace. The fireplace was built when a fireplace was a fireplace—sturdy, large, with that weather worn look, as if it had been standing for a while, much like the house.
The Seymour children loved the house, especially under the back porch and steps. A full-sized 6ft or 7ft man could stand up straight under the back porch. Many adventures were had under that back porch, make believe ran rampant. The porch was so situated that anyone could hide under it and you would never know they were there—a surprise attack was always possible, is why Grandpa never left the doors of the house at night, front or back.
When Jacque, Sr. was younger, he had a car accident that damaged his voice box, which gave his voice a growling sound, fitting his Native American and Jessie James personality. This 6 ft. tall and 125 pounds man carried himself as if he weighed 200 pounds. Grandpa Seymour was a heavy weight in lots of ways. Packing his 45 Caliber pistol; he was Chunchula’s modern-day Jessie James. He would not fail to use that 45 Caliber pistol, if you pushed him far enough.
There in front of the fireplace would sit this 125 pounds man, packing his Colt 45. Night fell early in the 1960’s; the only light was a cold oil lamp he lite to get relief from the pitch black darkness, or the fire light from the fireplace. His house was scary at best in the daytime and even scarier at night. Every night Grandpa sat on two legs in his chair in front of the fireplace, which was always lite year round; wearing his Overalls with suspenders lying loosely around his shoulders, dipping snuff, and spitting into his spit can; it was a sight to behold (spit cans were popular in those days).
Remember, Grandpa Seymour was a Cherokee/Creek Indian who would go to war with you, if necessary. As he sat by the fire each evening, his partner Colt 45 was not far away, she would be lying just within reaching distance, if he needed her. After the sun went down, nights were so dark it was hard to see your hands in front of your face. The darkness was enhanced by the fact that the house was sitting back under huge oak trees, which kept a good bit of the light out, even in the daytime.
There were strange noises around Grandpa’s house. Walking down the dirt road to Grandpa’s house was a creepy, eerie journey after dark (cracking limbs, footsteps in the leaves, hooting’s, cat calls and meowing’s,) more than that, there seemed to be human sound coming from the darkness; a baby crying in the bushes. Lamps, remember were the only light at this time; electricity had not been strung in the Chunchula area, not in this part of Georgetown, anyway. Each night these sounds persisted and Grandpa Seymour would take his partner, Colt 45, and shoot 2 or 3 times out of the back door and 2 or 3 times out of the front door and holler out of each door after he’d shoot “get out from nare.” With his voice with that growling sound, he could sound pretty dangerous and spooky himself.
He was asked, “What if you hit somebody shooting into the darkness?” “Shouldn’t you find out who or what it is first?” “His respond was a loud, noooh, “I shoot and ask questions later.” Grandpa said, “He never intended to take a chance.” He could never tell what the sounds were or when there might really be some danger lurking just outside of the shadows of the light.” So, he would shoot.
Heavy weight, pistol toting, snuff dipping grandpa; he was a jewel in the Seymour family. Everybody looked to Grandpa Seymour for advice and wisdom; he was truly the head of the family; which is very rare in this society. Everybody that knew Grandpa Seymour knew they had better not go to house after dark….the one’s that didn’t know about “Grandpa Seymour’s shoot and ask questions later” mentality, soon found out.